Still no SuperWoman

Yep, that's correct. No super powers on this girl.

Long story short - not to bore you.

So, I did make it to the start line of the TDS at the UltraTrail du Mont-Blanc. Nervous to the bone. But excited. Lucky for me I ran into Hugo right at the start. And I did not let go of him after that. Sorry, Hugo. ;)

Weather reports were pretty 'blah'. Downpours, freezing temps, wind, snow. Not the kind of thing you'd like for 31 1/2 hours of running through high alpine terrain. Well, running...

Hugo and I decided on starting out really slow and to stick with that pace till the Cormet de Rosselend aid station at 63K. Little did we know that that might not have been the best approach. Since we started out in the back we got stuck between slower runners on the first climb and ended up waiting (standing around - cold...) for 45 minutes to even get up there. Till the 44K point we tried to make up for that. After that 44K point there was a pretty mean 20% elevation climb (11K of muddy fun...), and it was already late in the afternoon - so we decided on taking some time at the 44K point aid station to get changed for the night and to eat. We took an embarrassing 60 minutes there - let's just say we were socializing a bit too much. Result: the climb was a muddy mud slide. Steep and muddy/slippery. Not a great combo. Plus, it was getting colder. It had started snowing and temps were dropping. I knew I had some warm gear waiting for me at the 63K aid station, but Hugo didn't. So cold. 

To top this fun of, I took a pretty mean tumble at 61-ish K. Slipped and rolled down the mountain. Hit my shoulder on a rock. Pretty hard. Pretty pretty hard. As a result, the MD in the hospital in Switzerland prescribed me with some nasty pain killers and patches - and a sling. And I've been stuck in that sling for 1 1/2 weeks now. Stupid shoulder - annoying pain. Luckily I didn't break anything - MD isn't sure whether it's 'just' a crack or a muscular thing. I call it 'a souvenir'. Or 'battle scar'.

Okay, the race. At the 63K aid station (and after 16 hours in the race) I wanted to get ready for the night - despite of the shoulder (at that point I didn't realize what was going on with the shoulder - that's what Mr Endorphin was doing to me. But boy, was I in pain). Tried to squeeze Hugo into some of my ultra warm gear. And that's when the guy from the Organization came into the aid station. Saying the race was still 'officially open', but we could only continue at our own risk.

And that's when it hit me. I've just started my own law firm. I no longer have employee insurance benefits. My self-employment insurance doesn't cover 'at your own risk' situations. I was still having fun and ready to continue (and felt surprisingly great), but I was worried about my business. There you have it. So, I picked my firm. I picked my income. I picked avoiding the risk that something would happen and my insurance wouldn't cover for the loss of income because of it. Oh, boy. Would I have continued if I would still have been employed by another law firm? Embarrassingly enough - I think so. Ouch.

I've already had some 'encouraging' emails telling me I'm 'weak' and a 'quitter'. Yeah, very friendly. Luckily, I've had more emails and text messages saying I've acted ' like a self-employed grown-up' . An ' entrepreneur'. Does this make me a grown-up now? I'm not sure. What I am sure about is this - I'll be back next year (and boy, Hugo knows I will force him to come with me).  And I will be running for a charity. And will still be covered in glitter. And pink. And I might wear a full body suit to avoid my shoulder from getting cracked again. Stupid rocks.

Stats of the race: 900 runners out of 1500 dropped. The weather must have had something to do with this.

So - I am no SuperWoman. Not by far. Then again, I do look good in glitter.


Jen Feeny said...

Someone wrap this girl in bubble wrap! LOL! But seriously, you are a badass and the fact that you wanted to keep going despite the arm but picked your career over landing in a hospital was the smartest thing you could've done. You're still a super hero to me, especially after seeing what an Ultra is all about this past weekend.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

When it comes to your health and your ability to earn an income (it's sad we are all not independantly wealthy), every time it has to be a smart decision. Having fun in a sometimes risky sport is one thing but putting yourself at risk without a safety net is crazy. I say you made the right call! Live to play another day.

Becka said...

I do not think you are a wimp or a quitter. Not by any means!! Nothing is more important than your health and well-being (whether it is financial or not). You are my ultra running hero(ine). :D

LaVonne said...

I think you are awesome!

Victoria said...

Uhh... There's nothing "weak" about thinking about your health, especially in realistic terms.
It's possible that some of the people who finished were completely badass about it. Or they were some combination of foolish and determined. And/or maybe they're sick now.

Let's be honest, you eat my beginning runner miles for breakfast.

And I'm sure you look amazing in glitter. LOL.

Sarah said...

I don't know who sends those e-mails with the quitter or weak comments but delete them! I saw reports about how bad the weather was & I thought they closed the course because of it. I am inspired by your running adventures. I think you are so brave for getting out there, running those routes, and distances. I also love how you make it fun with glitter, smiles, & color! I am glad that you are safe & returned in one piece. The decision you made not only had to do with work but it allows you to run healthy going forward!
Thanks for sharing!!

Unknown said...

Hi Christel, it's Sarah (we met in Davos ;o) I think you made absolutely the RIGHT decision! We are grown-ups (supposedly) and sometimes we have to make crappy grown up decisions. Try to take the positive out of the experience: you will know better what to expect next time, and you had a bit of a 'reality check' about your business (I mean that in a GOOD way!!). I think you are an awesome, lovely person and you inspire me! Actually considering doing the K78 next year ;o) Keep smiling and feel better soon! Hugs from Switzerland!

B. Jarosz said...

People sent you mean emails? I can't even wrap my head around that. First: you've done nothing wrong (and sounds to me like you made a wise decision). Second: Why do they think your choices are any of their business??? Sounds like small-mindedness to me...